HIV Long-Term Survivors Day

June 5

Mobilize to Thrive: Prioritizing Quality of Life 

HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day (HLTSAD) honors long-term survivors of HIV and increases visibility of their needs, health issues, and journeys. The annual observance on June 5 coincides with the anniversary of the first reported cases of what later became known as AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases on June 5, 1981, in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  

HIV long-term survivors include several groups: 

  • People who have had HIV for 10 years or longer
  • Adults with HIV who acquired the virus as babies
  • People who were diagnosed with HIV before the availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 1996.

With decades of successful HIV research and new treatments , people with HIV are living longer, resulting in a growing population of long-term survivors and people who are aging with HIV. Long-term survivors of HIV may experience complications associated with exposure to the virus, the toxicity of many early HIV treatments that caused life-altering side effects, and the long-term ART use. HLTSAD encourages advocates to support efforts to improve quality of life for long-term survivors with HIV.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) HIV research program, coordinated by the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR), supports research to better understand comorbidities, or other diseases that occur along with HIV,  in long-term survivors of HIV and people aging with the virus, as well as their prevention and management. OAR  launched the HIV and Aging Signature Program in 2022 to advance research aimed at improving the health of people with HIV experiencing comorbidities such as neurocognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. This includes people aging with HIV, as well as long-term survivors of HIV, who may be younger but still face effects of long-term exposure to the virus and ART. The Signature Program has brought together people with HIV, researchers, and federal partners to work together to identify ways to improve health of older adults and long-term survivors with HIV. As part of these efforts, the Signature Program hosted a session with federal partners and community members at the 2023 U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA). 

Social Media

Use the hashtag #HLTSAD to follow the conversation on social media. Download graphics and find sample social media posts on the HIV Long-Term Survivors Day webpage.

HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day logo.

Additional Resources

NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR)

Additional Information and Resources